33 Slices
Medium 9781574416558

“The Golden Log: An East Texas Paradise Lost.” The Golden Log, PTFS XXXI, 1962

Edited by Kenneth L. Untiedt and Kira E. Mort University of North Texas Press PDF

The Golden Log: An East Texas

Paradise Lost

pP

I first heard the following East Texas story, with its Paradise Lost theme (A1331), ten years ago from a student of mine at Woodville,

Texas, High School. She told it with only the scantiest of detail, and I do not remember whether she accepted it as fact or as fantasy.

More recently Walter Lavine of Ruliff, Texas, told me a variant of the story; this time the setting was across the river in Louisiana. I have been passing this tale on for several years, every time I discussed the sources of Paradise Lost. In comparison with the first version I heard, current versions have grown; but this has been a growth in detail, not a change in essence.

There used to be a place where the sawmill and the commissary were on one side of a big, deep creek and the settlement on the other. But the people never had any trouble getting across because there was a big golden log spanning the creek and it was easy to walk across.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574416558

Introduction to The Family Saga: A Collection of Texas Family Legends, PTFS LX, 2003

Edited by Kenneth L. Untiedt and Kira E. Mort University of North Texas Press PDF

The Family Saga: A Collection of Texas Family Legends an introduction

[from The Family Saga: A Collection of Texas Family

Legends, PTFS LX, 2003]

pP

From the beginning of man’s time, from our be-figged first parents

Adam and Eve, the family has been the basic social unit. The family clung together, tightly knit, for simple survival.

The old father, the patriarch, called his bickering sons together, and they sat in the light around the fire. He waved his hand about him, indicating all the points of the compass, and said, “Out there in the darkness lies our destruction. Outside of this firelight stand both man and beast, and they can destroy us one by one if we do not travel together as each other’s protection.” Then he took a stick and gave one to each of his sons. “Break them,” he said. They did so, easily. Then he took the same number of sticks as he had sons and bound them in a bundle. “Break this,” he said. None could break the bound bundle.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574416558

“Singing All Day & Dinner on the Grounds.” Observations & Reflections on Texan Folklore. PTFS XXXVII, 1972

Edited by Kenneth L. Untiedt and Kira E. Mort University of North Texas Press PDF

Singing All Day & Dinner on the Grounds

pP

By the time we got to Harris Chapel the singing had already started.

The Sacred Harp singers of this part of East Texas, near Marshall, had gathered for their one hundredth annual all-day singing and dinner on the grounds. The meeting house was large, white, manywindowed and frame, and it sat in a clearing near the community cemetery where old cedars stood. The parking area was shaded by post oaks, and surrounding all were the pines. Sam Asbury pretty well described the sound of a full house of Old Harp singers when he recalled, “The immediate din was tremendous; at a hundred yards it was beautiful; at a distance of a half mile it was magnificent.” We parked somewhere in the “beautiful” range and could feel the music roll over us before it flowed away into the surrounding woods.

We went in with the guilt a city man feels from violating a time schedule, but there was no need to worry. There is no body of people more casual in their comings and goings than Sacred Harpers.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574416558

“Longino Guerrero’s Corrido on J. Frank Dobie.” Corners of Texas, PTFS LII, 1993

Edited by Kenneth L. Untiedt and Kira E. Mort University of North Texas Press PDF

Longino Guerrero’s Corrido on J. Frank Dobie

pP

The Texas Folklore Society met at the Driskill Hotel in Austin on

April 16–17, 1965. This was a memorable meeting for me because

I was president of the Society that year. My family and I were accorded the Jim Hogg Suite in honor of the occasion, and the children were much impressed. I remember the Saturday morning session very well because John O. West gave a paper on Jack Thorp and John Lomax that indicated that the latter had borrowed significantly from the former. John Lomax, Jr., was in the audience, and everybody got real quiet during the reading. Academic objectivity was maintained, however and fortunately, and no enmities were incurred.

The other thing I remember about that session was that

Américo Paredes was accompanied by two of his corrido singing friends, Longino (Lonnie) Guerrero and Frank Rios. Américo gave brief introductory remarks on the corrido as a continuing and modern folk tradition and introduced the two musicians. They concluded the Saturday morning session singing two of Lonnie’s latest corridos, “La Tragedia del Presidente Kennedy” and “El Corrido de J. Frank Dobie,” also called “Homenaje a J. Frank Dobie.” Kennedy had been assassinated in 1963 and Dobie had died in 1964, so these events were still fresh on members’ minds.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574416558

“Folk Art in General, Yard Art in Particular.” Folk Art in Texas, PTFS XLV, 1985

Edited by Kenneth L. Untiedt and Kira E. Mort University of North Texas Press PDF

Folk Art in General, Yard Art in Particular

[Originally, text and photographs by Francis Edward

Abernethy]

pP

This folk art project began on a flight from DFW to Austin. I was with a jazzman friend, and we got into a two-hundred-mile discussion of art. He had ordered a cord of wood, and the black man who delivered and stacked the wood arranged it in obviously contrived designs. My friend catalytically remarked that he hated to break down the cord of firewood because he was destroying a work of art.

We contemplated the impulse that would give rise to such an ephemeral art form and began to consider other common but either unnoticed or taken-for-granted manifestations. I had recently purchased a new Stetson and had had it steamed and shaped according to my inclination and one of the latest styles. We agreed that shaping hats was an art in addition to being a craft. The knowledge of the craft was necessary to know how to do it. The feeling for the added dimension of art—for the flow of the curve of the brim, and the balance and symmetry of the crown—was necessary to know what to do. The art of the hat had gone beyond the utility of it.

See All Chapters

See All Slices